Friday, March 12, 2010

Fox Goes Bananas For "Apes" Prequel

According to reports Rupert Wyatt, writer/director of "The Escapist" prison drama is in talks for a "Planet of the Apes" prequel "...where man is brute and apes intelligent...", titled "Caesar: Planet of the Apes".

According to the website CHUD, synopis of the new film is:

"...Will is a doctor trying to cure Alzheimers, a disease that afflicts his father. He's working with monkeys to create a benign virus that can get into brain tissue and restore functionality. After his research is shut down he's left with just one chimp, the child of his most promising subject, and Will raises him at home. Young 'Caesar' is incredibly intelligent for an ape, and over time he continues to mutate and evolve, looking less like a chimp and moving on from sign language to actual speech. Eventually Caesar ends up leading an army of apes in an uprising just as a catastrophe strikes mankind..."

"Conquest of the Planet of the Apes", the fourth film in the Fox "POTA" series, describes the 'primate revolution' against humankind. The 1972 feature, directed by J. Lee Thompson, is noted as the most violent sequel in the original "POTA" movie series.

Producer Peter Chernin of Chernin Entertainment is on board "Caesar" with writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver developing the screenplay.

"Planet of the Apes" originated as a 1963 novel by author Pierre Boulle, first published in French as "La Planète des singes". As 'singe' means both 'ape' and 'monkey', writer Xan Fielding called his English translation of the novel, "Monkey Planet", as an example of social commentary through the use of dystopia.

The main events of the book, set in the future, are placed in a frame story, in which 'Jinn' and 'Phyllis', a couple out on a pleasure cruise in a spaceship, find a message in a bottle floating in space. The message is the testimony of 'Ulysse Mérou', who writes he was the acquaintance of 'Professor Antelle', a scientist on Earth, who invented a spaceship that could travel close to the speed of light.

Ulysse, Antelle and a physicist 'Levain', fly off in the ship to explore outer space, traveling to the nearest star system the professor theorized might be capable of life, near the red sun 'Betelgeuse'. Because of 'time dilation', the trip only takes 2 years, with the group discovering an Earth-like planet they name 'Soror' (Latin for 'sister').

Landing on the planet they breathe the air, drink the water and eat the local vegetation, before encountering primitive 'humans'. Quickly captured by the humans, they are startled to see a hunting party in the forest, consisting of gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees using guns, wearing human clothing including gloves instead of shoes on their prehensile feet.

Ulysse is captured and taken to Ape City, before being sent to a research facility, where he is adopted by female chimp researcher 'Zira'. Freed from his cage, Ulysee then meets Zira's fiancé, the scientist 'Cornélius'.

With Cornélius' help, Ulysee makes a speech in front of the ape President and numerous representatives, touring the city and learning about the apes' civilization and history, in a society divided between violent gorillas, conservative orangutans and intellectual chimpanzees.

Meanwhile Ulysse falls in love and impregnates the primitive human 'Nova', discovering the planet was ruled by humans who built a technological society and enslaved apes to perform manual labor. Over time the humans became more and more dependent upon the apes, until eventually they became so degenerate they were overthrown by their ape servants and fell into the primitive state.

When orangutan scientist 'Dr. Zaius', decrees the humans' extermination, Ulysse escapes from the planet with his wife and newborn son, returning to Earth in the professor's spaceship, landing on Earth over 700 years after he had originally left it. Once outside the ship, he discovers that Earth is now ruled by intelligent apes just like the planet he fled.

He immediately leaves Earth in his ship, writes his story, places it in a bottle, and launches it into space for someone to find. It is at this point in the story that we discover that Jinn and Phyllis, the couple who found the bottle, are chimpanzees who dismiss Ulysse's story, saying that a human could not have the intelligence to write such a fantastic story.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes"